Exhibit - F/A-18E Super Hornet
Righto, out of the weeds, plug in full burner and uuuuup she goes! Whooopeee!
I'm passing 36,000 feet and I suddenly remember two things
- I didn't put much fuel in
- I'm totally lost!
This is accompanied by a clammy, queasy feeling in my gut.
Level off and throttle back.
5 minutes of head down work in the cockpit convinces me that I know very little about the map display. However, based on a semi-educated guess I decide to steer for what I hope is a TACAN symbol on the map. I hadn't pushed too many buttons and so hoped that it was tuned to the beacon at the airport I took off from.
About this time, just as I'm getting very nervous and looking for the ejection handle, the voice warning system goes off "BINGO, BINGO". Ok Ok, I get the message, and a press of the Master Caution Lamp shuts the computer up. Yikes, that's 3,500 lbs of fuel left. There is an adjustable bingo setting on the fuel flow indicator panel.
I let down to about 3,000 feet and peer out of the virtual cockpit... there it is!
Landing was faaaairly uneventful, although according to the merciless debrief I had touched down way too hard.
As you can see by the debrief map, I had ponced around the planned route a bit then headed North West and followed a road up the valley before climbing to the South East. Now that's a lesson in itself. If I had bothered to notice the general compass headings of my escapades, it would have been very simple to head back east and find the airbase visually.